Several people have asked me recently how they can improve their traffic volumes to their blogs. Below I've listed some good ways to get started on getting a larger audience. It's worth pointing out that successful bloggers put a lot of time and energy into their blogs, and a good following doesn't just happen over night.
One of the best ways in the blogging world to get traffic to your site is great content. An obvious one - but it's true. People won't visit an empty blog. Good content should be considered in terms of your audience. What will your audience want to read? If you don't have a large following, then think about the audience you would like to have. What are they like? What are they interested in? Often you can look to yourself for the answers, as if you are like me - you'll want to write something that you yourself would enjoy reading.
|Write great content to get people reading!|
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What should I write?
This really depends on one thing and one thing alone. What is the point of your blog? This is a really tricky one as you might start out thinking it's one thing, and then actually you start writing about something else. For me my blog started out as a craft blog where I could share my makes, but then I started writing my thoughts, and opinions and before I knew it I was kind of falling under the category of a lifestyle blog. Struggling with blog identity is something most bloggers go through and something I recently wrote about over at Craft Blog UK.
|Know the purpose or point of your blog|
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Encourage people to link to your blog!
A great way of getting traffic to your blog, is other people promoting it! If your content is good enough other bloggers will post about it, you know you are onto a winner! For craft blogs, tutorials are great content for getting links. There are also several sites you can upload your tutorials to.
|Get people shouting about your blog|
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The personal touch
People like to know about you. This doesn't mean you have to tell your whole life story, but giving your blog a personal touch rather than only posting about your specific niche will help attract new visitors.
|Talking about yourself adds a personal touch to your blog|
(Image via: Ashley Hamilton on Pinterest)
A really important one. Often when people start a blog they write a few good posts and think "why aren't people coming to my site?" Your audience want to be kept updated and have new and exciting things to read. If you are only writing sparingly, then they'll simply go elsewhere. I aim to write two blog posts a week and I try for three if I'm not too busy. Again, don't do it for the sake of blogging - but if you can make time, do it.
|Keep people interested by writing regularly.|
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Appearances do matter!
Think of your blog like a shop. If it's full of loud music and flashing lights people probably won't want to enter or stick around long if you are selling homemade baby gifts! The same applies to your blog, be kind to your audiences eyes - stop and think, is your design reflective of what your blog is about? Is it easy on the eye? Is your blog easy to read? Choosing font type and size can make a massive difference to creating a successful blog. There are blogs I know out there that have fantastic content, but some days I just can't handle reading them as they are stylised to the max and it's hard to read!
|Make your blog enticing like a shop front|
(Image via: Johanna Van Daalen on Pinterest)
Use good quality photographs or images
People like pretty things! make sure your photos are good quality - especially of anything you've made. It makes such a massive difference. I started out just taking quick photos of things, but realised that putting a bit more time into photos is really very rewarding.
|Take good photographs!|
(Image via: Diane Tira on Pinterest)
Getting your blog to look and feel right is really important - but it's not just about your blog. Your blog is part of a blogging community and you need to get involved! Interact with the blogs you follow - comment on other people's posts. Don't comment just for the sake of it. Bloggers will see right through that. Getting in the habit of interacting within the blogging community will get you a steady stream of followers who actually do want to read and interact with you!
(Image via: Andrea Brooks on Pinterest)
Give your audience an incentive
I recently did a giveaway on my blog which was a great way of getting new followers. Make sure the giveaway is representative of your blog - so that any new followers are likely to stick around rather than simply enter the competition and never bother visiting you again. Make sure to publicise your giveaway through social media, and give more incentive to win by encouraging your followers to share your giveaway. For example give your followers several chances to win each time they share your giveaway through a different means of social media. This will extend your reach and make you more visible to a wider audience. There are also loads of sites that will promote your giveaway, and these can be useful too. Again, make sure these sites are niche to your market. Otherwise you'll just get loads of entries from people simply out to get free stuff.
|Give your readers an incentive to follow your blog|
(Image via: Ardith Ohka on Pinterest)
Another great way to get new followers and to expand your reach is by guest blogging. I currently guest blog regularly for two craft sites: SW Craft Club and Craft Blog UK. Again, guest blogging shouldn't be done for the sake of it - do it because you like the site you are blogging for and have something to say! I got into guest blogging through twitter, as both sites were looking for people - so you can either offer your blogging skills or do a search to see if any relevant blogs/websites are looking.
|Write some guest posts for another blog!|
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Analyse what's happening on your blog
Does your blog have any stats on who is coming to your blog? Blogger has some good basic statistics - but I'd definitely recommend getting Google Analytics. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to use it, it's very easy and will give you a good idea of how much traffic you are getting, where it is coming from and whether people are coming back! This can help you identify which posts are popular, so you can write more of the same and what isn't quite working.
|Analyse the traffic on your blog|
(Image via: Nina Palucci on Pinterest)
This is not a definitive list by any means - but it's a good basis for getting a steady stream of traffic to your blog. Other ideas would include link parties, submitting to social bookmarking sites, tagging your posts, understanding a bit about SEO, getting people to guest blog for you, writing about things that are hot topic, use attention grabbing headlines, give your readers lots of different ways to subscribe to your blog, article marketing, utilise social media across all platforms and above all else enjoy it!
I hope this has been useful for people and I'd love to hear your thoughts on what's been useful for getting you more traffic!